BARNSLEY Main's engine house and pithead structures have been given protected status by English Heritage.

The disused colliery's winding engine house and pit head structures were built around 1900 and then modernised in 1956.

The experts say they're the last significant surviving structures with a historical connection to the 1866 Oaks Colliery Disaster, England's worst mining accident.

An English Heritage spokesman said: "It's nationally rare for an essentially 19th century arrangement of winding shaft structures modernised in the 1950s by the National Coal Board to survive.

"It's also a poignant monument to the coal industry of the area, evidence of which has been almost totally removed from across the South Yorkshire coalfields, formally one of the most significant industrial areas in the country."